IRVING, Texas — The University of Georgia announced the hiring of Dallas Cowboys defensive line coach Todd Grantham as its defensive coordinator Friday. “I’m very excited about being part of a staff that will work tremendously hard to return Georgia football to one of the premier teams in the SEC,” Grantham said in a statement released by the school. “To the fans and boosters of the University of Georgia, I understand the passion and standard of excellence expected. I look forward to developing an aggressive, physical, attacking-style defense that offenses will not look forward to playing against.”
Grantham will remain with the Cowboys through the playoffs, as his contract expires at the end of the season. The rest of the team’s assistant coaches are under contract for next season. The Cowboys face Minnesota in an NFC divisional playoff game Sunday.
The Cowboys, meanwhile, announced Grantham’s replacement minutes later, saying former Syracuse coach Paul Pasqualoni would fill his role. Pasqualoni, who was fired this week as the Miami Dolphins’ defensive coordinator, was a Cowboys assistant for three seasons.
Grantham worked at Virginia Tech (1990-95) and Michigan State (1996-98) before spending the last 11 seasons in the NFL.
“I’m excited the search is over, we have our man, and look forward to what Todd will bring to our defense, our team, and our university,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “I think it is particularly valuable that he has a wealth of experience on the defensive side of the ball at both the NFL and collegiate levels. Now we look forward to moving ahead with the home stretch of recruiting, finishing out the defensive staff, and getting ready for spring practice.”
Grantham replaces Willie Martinez, who was fired Dec. 2 along with two other defensive assistants. His hiring ends a six-week search during which Virginia Tech’s Bud Foster, LSU’s John Chavis and Alabama’s Kirby Smart were among those to turn down the Bulldogs.
This past season, Georgia ranked 10th in the SEC in points allowed (26.4) and seventh in yards allowed (328.4). Over the last two years, the Bulldogs surrendered at least 30 points in 10 of their 26 games.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.